Press Release

PhRMA Statement on PCAST Innovation Report

PhRMA November 4, 2012

Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2012) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Matthew Bennett issued the following statement today on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report:

“Medical innovation is the bedrock of the biopharmaceutical industry, yet the challenging regulatory and legislative environment continues to threaten the lifeblood of the most R&D-intensive sectors in the United States.  As authors of the report rightly point out, without adequate support for research, ‘the U.S. is at risk of losing its leadership in invention and discovery—the driving force behind the new industries and jobs that have propelled the U.S. economy over the past century.’ 

“At a time when our nation faces great fiscal challenges, it is critical for policymakers to support science-driven and job-creating industries such as the biopharmaceutical industry.  To that end, a consistent policy framework that focuses on medical innovation at the national level is desperately needed.  Such a framework should provide regulatory certainty, ensure patient choice and access to medicines, and incentivize future research and development– and we agree with the authors that making permanent the R&D tax credit is a step in the right direction.

“Over the last decade, the biopharmaceutical industry, oftentimes partnering with academia and federal research institutions, has brought more than 300 new medicines to patients and PhRMA companies alone have invested $500 billion in research and development of new therapies. These medical advancements have helped patients fight deadly and costly diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and heart disease and have provided tremendous and immeasurable value to millions of patients and families around the world.  

“The biopharmaceutical industry also supports millions of jobs in the U.S. and contributes significantly to local, state and national economies. In fact, a recent report found that the overall impact of the biopharmaceutical sector on the economy is $917 billion annually.  But as leaders in other countries around the world make more of a concerted effort to attract our industry through pro-innovation policies and programs, the United States’ standing as a beacon of innovation and hope is at stake.   

“PhRMA also fully supports efforts to bolster students’ interest in STEM education.  Research-intensive, science-driven sectors such as ours play an important role in helping to support students pursuing careers in the STEM fields.  All of our members, in one way or another, support STEM education because they realize that too much is at stake if our nation loses its medical innovation edge. 

“This report couldn’t have come at a better time andwe look forward to having discussions with members of the new Congress and the Administration on steps we can take to help ensure the U.S. remains the world leader in medical innovation.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 in discovering and developing new medicines.

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